"I already know that smoking ain't good for me": Patient and Clinician Perspectives on Lung Cancer Screening Decision-Making Discussions as a Teachable Moment

Sara E. Golden, Sarah S. Ono, Anne Melzer, James Davis, Steven B. Zeliadt, Jaimee L. Heffner, Hasmeena Kathuria, Ginny Garcia-Alexander, Christopher G. Slatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Lung cancer screening (LCS) is now recommended for people at high risk of dying of lung cancer.

RESEARCH QUESTION: The purpose of this study was to use the LCS decision discussion as a case study to understand possible underlying components of a teachable moment to enhance motivation for smoking cessation.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The study investigated how patients and clinicians communicate about smoking. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were performed of the experiences of 51 individuals who formerly or currently smoked who were offered LCS and 24 clinicians. Only the baseline interviews were used because including the follow-up interviews would have been beyond the scope of this article. The interviews focused on communication about smoking, the perceived importance of discussing smoking and screening together, and patients' perceived challenges to smoking cessation.

RESULTS: Patients and clinicians differed in their views on the role of the LCS decision discussion as a teachable moment. Although clinicians felt that this discussion was a good opportunity to positively influence smoking behaviors, neither patients nor clinicians perceived the discussion as a teachable moment affecting smoking behaviors. Other motivating factors for smoking cessation were found.

INTERPRETATION: Our findings indicate that LCS decision discussions are not currently a teachable moment for behavior change in smoking cessation, but perhaps clinicians could address other aspects of communication to enhance motivation for cessation. Our hypothesized teachable moment model helps explain that there may not be sufficient emotional response elicited during the discussion to motivate a major behavior change such as smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1259
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online dateApr 15 2020
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FUNDING/SUPPORT: This study is supported by an award from the American Cancer Society [128737-RSG-15-155-01-CPPB; Lung Cancer Screening Implementation: Evaluation of Patient-Centered Care]. It was also supported by resources from the VA Portland Health Care System, the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System, and Duke University School of Medicine.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • education
  • lung cancer
  • smoking

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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